From NBC's Luke Russert
Republicans tried to broaden the debate on health-care reform today by calling on Americans to notice the effect that a government health-care plan would have on individual states.
In a rare appearance on Capitol Hill, Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi said, "My experience with the federal government is if the government runs something it usually costs me more and gives me less."
Barbour added, "As a governor I can tell you that states are worried about the great expansion of Medicaid."
Barbour, who campaigned yesterday with Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob McDonnell, warned that Medicaid can account for up to 20% of a state's budget and that health-care issues often lead to long state legislature battles that tie down state budgets.
The governor also claimed that under a government health-care plan up to "300,000 Mississippians could be added to Medicaid."
Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) made the point that health-care coverage varies from state to state and that "a Washington takeover of health care will limit the flexibility of our states and hurt working families around our country."
Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) mocked the fact that a government run plan could be on the same level as one from the private sector.
Video: MSNBC's Ed Schultz is joined by Linda Doughlass, White House Communications Director for the Office of Health Care Reform, and Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., to discuss PresidentObama's aggressive demeanor toward the GOP on health care during his press conference on Tuesday.
"Most Americans know that the government competes with the private sector like an alligator competes with a duck," Pence said. "It consumes it."
On the topic of energy reform, the Republican lawmakers reiterated the party's rejection of the Democratic plan as a "national energy tax."
Barbour spoke at length on the issue, claiming that energy reform in the United States would end up hurting the environment in the long run. According to Barbour, more polluters would go overseas and thus be subjected to less regulation.
"The shame of it is a lot of these heavy energy-eating companies will go to Brazil or China or India and the use of coal there will have five times more greenhouse gas emissions than coal from Columbus, Miss.," he said.
Lastly, Barbour said that despite upcoming trips to New Hampshire and Iowa, that he has no intentions of running for president in 2012.